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Signs of Stupidity

Dear None,
 
In the absence of any recent contributions from the inimitable Andy to the documentation of human idiocy as expressed in world signage, I offer the following shining example of glorious obliviousness.  Read this: http://www.guardian.co.uk/theguardian/2008/nov/01/5 
 
I’ve always hated those ‘out of office’ replies.  If I have sent an urgent email, I really want to cling to the notion that the recipient has read it and is not responding because they are either lazy or spiteful.  It helps, because it gives me something to channel my anxiety into – rage.  I’d rather that than the knowledge that my missive is just sitting unheeded in an inbox.
 
But that’s just me.  Yes, I know that I am a bit deranged.  Thank you.
 
Cheers,
 
The Chairman of the Bored
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…by way of explanation…

Dear None,

 

It’s been a while, and I’ve had a lot of ideas about things to write on here, but I never had the time or drive to see them through.  Sorry.

 

I just saw JJ’s comment on my last entry, and I wanted to make a few comments in response. 

 

Firstly, JJ, you are right.  Mr Salgado has an infamous record and the conduct attributed to him is vile and nasty.  I am by no means an advocate of him or his behavior.  I loathe that kind of thing.  (Note, however, that I am commenting on the accusations; I am not treating them as conclusively accurate because, with respect to JJ and all others who know the man and who may have suffered on account of him – that is not mine to judge, because of the golden thread; law students will know what I mean.)  All accounts indicate that Mr Salgado is quite peculiar and extremely reprehensible.  On that basis, he is scum.

 

Second, those of us who extol what virtues (we say) Salgado has, do so because he really, really sucks.  Read his writing – if you can.  It is awful.  It is so awful that it is magnificent.  It is stupendously, unbelievably, transcendently terrible.  Just read The Fireless Inferno (more compressed, download-friendly version to be uploaded soon).  Then you will see what excites his fans so much.  It is a real contender for the title of the ‘Worst, Most Garbled, Book Ever Published’ and for that, if nothing else, it and it’s author, are notable.  In fact, hell with the author, we just really dig the books.  They stink so much, like a fine cheese, or other putrid delicacy.  Stupidity on this scale deserves to live on as a constant reminder to the human race that while genius has limits, stupidity has none.

 

Thirdly, we of the Secret Society of Salivating Salgadians are also card-carrying fans of Jessica Zafra and her writing.  In the annals of vintage Zafra, her discovery and dogged pursuit of Salgado is a legendary quest that stands out like a sore buttock from the body of her work.  A grand and memorable sore buttock.  We have sought to follow the path that will lead us to The Fireless Inferno for too long a time to be deterred by the villany of it author in the time period following its inspired creation.

 

I really want to get off the topic of Salgado.  (See first point, above.)  I do have other things to talk about.

 

Some other time.

 

Cheers,

 

The Chairman of the Bored

 

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“Canonize Arnel Salgado”

Dear None,
 
As much as it might seem that this blog has descended into the grip of an obsession with Arnel Salgado, I must share this bit of news.
 
I am not a fan of Facebook (this is not the bit of news).  It strikes me as fundamentally pointless and irritating, not to mention an invasive waste of time.  But alas, I have found a redeeming feature.  There is a movement afoot on the site to pay tribute to that eminently worthy man of letters, Arnel Salgado.
 
Here it is.  I love the write up.

http://apps.facebook.com/causes/26483

 
If anything could induce me to enter the hellish gates of Facebook, it would be my desire to support that most noble and overdue cause. 
 
That said, I’m still not joining.  Not unless Arnel joins first.
 
"Surmise!"
 
Tune in next time for a quotable quote from Gatley on Libel and Slander.  Don’t wait up.
 
Cheers,
 
The Chairman of the Bored
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I Wish I Were a Book Reviewer: The Maltese Falcon

Dear None,
 
It’s been a while.  I keep coming to this site with the intention of doing something with it.  But we all know with what the road to hell is paved.
 
I have recently read a number of books which I have had my eye on for some time.  One of these is The Quiet American by Graham Greene.  I will remain silent on it for the time being out of a quiet regard for its sensitive and powerful nature.  I also need to wait for the feeling to return to my mental apparatus to a sufficient degree so as to write something non-kitschy.  Don’t hold your breath.
 
One of the books I knocked over was Dashiell Hammett’s detective thriller The Maltese Falcon.  After I read it, I jotted some schoolboy praise in the back, which I reproduce below.  On reflection, I feel that there is a refractory period after you finish reading a book in which nothing worthwhile can be written.  Conversely, there is not much energy or drive there when it comes to writing too long after the experience is over.  I apologise for the subtly crude overtones, but I hold those truths to be self-evident, at least for me.  Of course, it must be said that I have no talent whatsoever – an explanation which probably goes a long way.
 
Nonetheless, here is my post-read mini-review:
 
"The author displays an admirable and surprising clarity in seeing and describing the intricacies of real-world actions and circumstances.  The offhand and casual descriptions afforded to the more banal movements and actions in a situation make the scenes grittier and more realistic and impart a stunning detail to the portraiture, making the reader feel almost as shrewd and sharp as the characters.
 
"Spade is a worthy prototype of an archetype, but without overdoing it.  Even after the character’s traits have been imitated and parodied to death over the years, the original is more subdued than its illegitimate progeny and it is this tinge of normalcy that makes Samuel Spade believable.  Hard-boiled never becomes one-dimensional.
 
"For all their occasional flaws – including unaccountable lapses in the judgment of otherwise crafty and astute characters – the narrative, its situations and actions are rendered all the more realistically human.
 
"No wonder that the Private Detective genre has become so recognisably an homage, if not a footnote, to The Maltese Falcon."
 
In light of my comments above about proximity to the time of reading, it is no wonder that this commentary is so recognisably fromage-y, if not a footnote, to The Maltese Falcon.  Then again, it is a very well told and well written story.  Even so, with all the writers that are praying at the tomb of Hammett, does a dead author really need his boots licked by yet another suppliant?
 
Cheers,
 
The Chairman of the Bored
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Another Arnel Salgado masterpiece

Dear None,
 
The Fireless Inferno continues to lure people here.  A lot of people have wanted it for a long time and the fact that it is freely available (for a limited time only! – thanks to Megaupload, mind you) means that it is in demand.
 
Unfortunately, no one has left any comments, so I don’t know if the file is being downloaded ok.  (Although, I assume that if there were problems I would hear about it because complaints flow far more freely than thanks.)  Still, I would like to know that all is well and that the book is being thoroughly enjoyed.  A few thank you’s wouldn’t go wrong either, if anyone were that way inclined.
 
To be fair, I did get called "a kind soul" by one nice blogger (http://dreamlessness.livejournal.com/936236.html?view=2743340#t2743340 – thank you!!), but that is all, as far as I know.
 
So, because I have the human need for interaction, I will try something out. 
 
Now Hear This:
If you are a fan of the works of Arnel Salgado and want to read more of his books which are largely unavailable, here is an offer:
As of now, over 300 hits on this site have been received since The Fireless Inferno went up.  No comments have been received.  If 250 meaningful comments are received from different people, I will scan and post another of Salgado’s books – Kidnapped by the Gods.  I understand that posting may require getting a Windows Live passport, but it is free, so the price to pay is small.  (Now there’s a non sequitur.)  When the target is reached, I will start scanning.
 
Also, I am willing to consider judging the best comment and awarding a prize of an original copy of Kidnapped by the Gods to the writer of the best one.  Negotiations will be entered into with the winner about postage costs if it is going to be too much for me to bear, but the book will be free.  Huzzah!
 
Also, if anyone out there is from the Philippines and seriously wants to help with trying to get a new edition of The Fireless Inferno published, can do some legwork over there in Baguio with the printers or with the Author himself (wherever he is now), please let me know and I can give you such information and leads as I have and we can make it a definite project.
 
Cheers,
The Chairman of the Bored
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Departure times for the Undiscovered Country

Dear None,
 
I have had some confusing news.  On a whim, I decided to calculate my expected lifespan.  Rather than going to reputable and moderately scientific sources, however, I elected to try my luck on Google.  The results were a tad skewed.
 
I first went to http://www.deathclock.com/ and entered my information.  The result informed me that I would meet my end on January 25, 2034 (at 9:25am, to be precise).  This was slightly alarming, especially considering that I would like some time with the grandkids.  So, like a good patient, I sought a second opinion.
 
I next went to http://www.deathtimer.com/ where I entered the same information, plus my country of abode.  Clearly Death Timer is a far more optimistic bearer of bad news because its prognosis was that I would be in use until January 6, 2065.  While I was disappointed that they would not venture an exact time, I did note that January is commonly regarded as a bankable tombstone inscription for me.
 
What do we learn from all this?  On the one hand, if you want to stack your chips on the first result, I would urge you all to make friends with me now, because you don’t have long in which to ingratiate yourselves into my testamentary bounty.  On the other hand, you would have another 31 years of my company in such a case if the second estimate proved true.  Let us assume that radiation poisoning has granted us a third hand.  On that hand would be the possibility that I may make it to the median range between the two – July 2049.  If this were to be the case it would be terrible, because I want to see if all the climate change estimates for 2050 will come true.  Then again, maybe there’s a dodgy estimate website that can help…
 
By the way, I notice that for once this blog has traffic (read: lots of people want The Fireless Inferno).  I would like to remember this time in history, so, if your have time while you pass through, please leave a comment.  Or come back after you have read the book and recovered your health and tell me what you think of it.
 
Cheers,
 
The Chairman of the Bored
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